Interlocutor Sharma to decide whom to talk to in J&K: Rajnath Singh

Greater Noida: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said the newly-appointed interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, would decide whom he engaged with in the state.

Asked if Sharma would hold talks with the Hurriyat Conference, as suggested by some state politicians, Singh said, “It depends upon him whom he talks to or engages with.

Sharma, a former director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), was appointed by the central government as its representative yesterday to initiate a dialogue with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir.

The retired 1979-batch officer of the Indian Police Service was the IB director from December, 2014, to December, 2016.

The minister dodged questions by reporters on what signals the Indian government sought to send to Pakistan with the appointment of the interlocutor.

Singh was speaking on the sidelines of the 56th Raising Day parade of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police here.

Sustained dialogues would be initiated by the government for a solution to the Kashmir issue, Singh had said yesterday.

The home minister had also made it clear that Sharma, who would hold the rank of a cabinet secretary, would have a free hand in deciding whom to engage with.